SBD/30/Sports Media

CANADIAN NETS BATTLE OVER NAGANO RIGHTS

     With the IOC decision on Canadian TV rights to the Nagano
'98 Games due on Thursday, the fee is expected to be higher than
the C$16M CTV paid for the Lillehammer Games -- "but by how much
is speculation."  Based on the price rise for CBS, Canadian
rights should be at C$20M.  But CTV VP of Sports Doug Beeforth
"says that is far too high."  Beeforth:  "The Canadian market
can't sustain that and that's the only ballpark we play in."  CBC
officials withheld comment until the IOC's decision, but CTV VP
of Development Gary Mavaara argued, "We're not suggesting the CBC
should be out of the Olympics or sports, but they shouldn't use
the taxpayer cushion to escalate the bid."  CTV paid C$4.5M for
the rights to Calgary '88, while the CBC paid $11.7M for
Albertville (James Christie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/30).  In
Calgary, TV columnist Bob Blakey writes that it is time for the
CBC to get out of sports broadcasting.  Blakey: "Isn't it the job
of a 'public broadcaster' to give us programs that can't or won't
be produced by private networks and stations?" (CALGARY HERALD,
5/27).
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